Category: Lothian

Reference Library – Scotland – Lothian Broadband

Connecting Midlothian to a faster digital age 0

Connecting Midlothian to a faster digital age

Thousands more Midlothian households and businesses are now able to connect to high-speed fibre, thanks to the £428m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband roll-out. More premises in places such as Bonnyrigg, Dalkeith and Gorebridge are among the most recent to be reached. Many of the latest connections to be upgraded were previously ‘Exchange Only’ (EO) lines, a historic legacy of the copper network once thought to be out of the reach of high-speed fibre services.

Such lines run directly from the exchange to homes and business premises, bypassing the usual roadside cabinets which are a vital part of the fibre roll-out. Engineers worked out an innovative way to integrate these lines into the fibre network, laying hundreds of metres of new cables to reroute lines through extra roadside cabinets. Now more than 750,000 premises across the country can connect to their fastest-
ever broadband speeds through the roll-out, with around 77,000 premises reached in the last six months.

Local people need to sign up for the new, faster services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic. Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from. Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing said: “More than 90 per cent of Scotland now has fibre broadband available, thanks to both the programme and commercial coverage.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme is progressing further and we are extending coverage in communities such as Loanhead and Temple. “The Scottish Government is committed to delivering 100 per cent superfast broadband access across Scotland by 2021 and plans are currently being developed to ensure that this is the case.

During the summer months our existing programme will continue to advance across the country, bringing high speed broadband to new rural communities.” Robert Thorburn, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, said: “The Digital Scotland fibre roll-out has continued to make good progress over the last six months.

Thanks to engineering innovation, thousands of people on lines once thought to be incapable of carrying a superfast service are now able to upgrade to higher speeds.”

About 9000 new Scottish homes next in line for FTTP 0

About 9000 new Scottish homes next in line for FTTP

About 9,000 homes being built in Scotland will get Openreach’s FTTP broadband service, ISPreview reported.

The homes are getting constructed in Rosewell, Midlothian, Johnstone, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Lossiemouth, Edinburgh, East Calder, East Kilbride, Bonnyrigg, Inverness, Kintore and Chapelton.  The deployment is part of the operator’s goal of reaching 2 million UK premises by 2020 and also fits in with Openreach’s agreement with the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and Homes for Scotland.

Under the deal, FTTP will be rolled out for free to all new UK housing developments of 30 properties or more.

North Ayrshire has among the lowest rate of internet use according to Office of National Statistics report 0

North Ayrshire has among the lowest rate of internet use according to Office of National Statistics report

NORTH Ayrshire has among the lowest rates of internet use in the UK according to recently published data which lays bare the extent of the country’s digital divide. One in six people, almost twice the UK national average, have not been online in the past three months or had never used the internet, according to a report by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Stirling and Perth and Kinross have the lowest rates in Scotland with 18.3 per cent of people meeting the low and non-use criteria, compared with 15.3 per cent in North and East Ayrshire 1 .

The highest rate is in West Lothian where just 5.5 per cent of people said they hadn’t been online in the previous three months. Households without access to the internet are estimated to lose around £560-a-year because they can’t shop and pay bills online, according to Digital Divide in the UK, a report published by the Royal Geographical Society. Up to 90 per cent of job applications now require some form of online use.

While the true reasons for the divide are not yet clear, comparatively high numbers of elderly, unemployed and economically inactive people may provide a partial explanation, according to experts. According to John Fitzgerald of Prestwick-based satellite broadband provider Internet Anywhere, lack of use in rural, remote and drive-to-work areas is also down to poor connectivity. His company connects customers without access to a fibre-optic broadband connection, mostly in rural areas beyond the reach of the current network. “Mostly they are businesses that are at a competitive disadvantage because their broadband capacity is too small for their commercial requirements or because they have no internet connection at all. “It’s a huge problem for businesses, most of which are SMEs already faced with higher transport costs because of their location.” Fitzgerald added: “The Scottish Government really needs to grasp the nettle and ensure that areas with low internet use have proper access to broadband provision to put the country on a level playing field. “Unless something changes, it’s looking increasingly doubtful whether they will meet their 2020 target and, at a time when they should be doing everything in their power to grow the UK economy, that is worrying.” The Scottish Government has pledged to ensure superfast broadband is available to all homes and businesses by 2020.

According to an Ofcom report, published last December, 400,000 properties north of the border still don’t have access to superfast broadband and half of those can’t access broadband speeds over 10 megabits per second (mb/s), considered by the regulator to be the minimum necessary.

Mark Graham, Professor of Internet Geography at the University of Oxford, warned that as the UK becomes “digital by default”, non-users face becoming further marginalised References ^ Ayrshire (www.ardrossanherald.com)